Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

2. Bruyere has touched on this mania with humor: “Of such a collector,” says he, “as soon as I enter his house, I am ready to faint on the staircase, from a strong smell of Morocco leather: in vain he shows me fine editions, gold leaves, Etruscan bindings, &o., naming them one after another, as if he were showing a gallery of pictures ! a gallery, by-the by, which he seldom traverses when alone, for he rarely reads, but me he offers to conduct through it! I thank him for his politeness, and as little as himself care to visit the tan-house which he calls his library,"

3. Lucian has composed a biting invective against the ignorant possessor of a vast library. Like him, who in the present day, after turning over the pages of an old book, chiefly admires the date. Lucian compares him to a pilot, who was never taught the science of navigation; to a rider who cannot keep his seat on a spirited horse; to a man who not having the use of his feet wishes to conceal the defect by wearing embroidered shoes; but, alas! he cannot stand in them !

4. He ludicrously compares him to Thersites wearing the armor of Achilles, tottering at every step; leering with his little eyes under his enormous helmet, and his hunch-back raising the cuirass above his shoulders. Why do you buy so many books ? he says :-you have no hair, and you purchase a comb; you are blind, and you will have a grand mirror ; you are deaf, and you will have fine musical instruments ! Your costly bindings are only a source of vexation, and you are continually discharging your librarians for not preserving them from the silent invasion of the worms, and the nibbling triumphs of the rats!

5. Such collectors will contemptuously smile at the collection of the amiable Melancthon. He possessed in his library only four authors, Plato, Pliny, Plutarch, and Ptolemy, the gear grapher. Fortunate are those who only consider a book for the utility and pleasure they may derive from its possession.

I GATHER THEM IN.-PARK BENJAMIN.

1. Nigh to a grave, that was newly made,

Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade :
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral train through the open gate:
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were white as the foamy sea-
And these words came from his lips so thin,

“I gather them in! I gather them in !" 2. “I gather them in ! for, man and boy,

Year after year of grief and joy,
I've builded the houses that lie around
In every nook of this burial ground.
Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude, one by one-
But come they strangers or come they kin,

I gather them in! I gather them in!
3. “Many are with me, but still I'm alone!
I am king of the dead—and I make

my

throne On a monument slab of marble cold, And my sceptre of rule is the spade I hold. Come they from cottage or come they from hall Mankind are my subjects—all, all, all ! Let them loiter in pleasure or toilfully spinI gather them in! I gather them in!

4. “I gather them in-and their final rest,

Is here, down here in the Earth's dark breast
And the sexton ceased—for the funeral train
Wound mutely over that solemn plain :
And I said to my heart—when time is told,
A mightier voice than that sexton's old
Will sound o'er the last trump's dreadful din-
“ I gather them in! I gather them in !"

THE PIN AND THE NEEDLE.-LEM. SMITH.

6. Because you

your back.”

1. A PIN and a needle, being neighbors in a work-basket, and both being idle, began to quarrel, as idle folks are apt to do:“ I should like to know," said the pin, “what you are good for, and how you expect to get through the world without a head ?" “ What is the use of your head,” replied the needle, rather sharply, "if you have no eye ?"

2. “ What is the use of an eye,” said the pin, “ if there is always something in it?" "I am more active, and can go through more work than you can,” said the needle.

“ Yes, but you will not live long.”

Why not ?" have always a stitch in your side," said the pin.

3. You are a poor, crooked creature,” said the needle. And you are so proud that you can't bend without breaking

“I'll pull your head off, if you insult me again." “ I'll put your eye out, if you

touch me; remember your life hangs by a single thread," said the pin.

4. While they were thus conversing, a little girl entered, and undertaking to sew, she soon broke off the needle at the eye. Then she tied the thread around the head of the pin, and, attempting to sew with it, she soon pulled its head off, and threw it into the dirt by the side of the broken needle.

5. “Well, here we are," said the needle. 66 We have nothing to fight about now," said the pin. “ It seems misfortune has brought us to our senses.” “A pity we had not come to them sooner,” said the needle. 66 How much we resemble human beings, who quarrel about their blessings till they lose them, and never find out they are brothers till they lie down in the dust together as we do."

SMATTERERS.-BUTLER.

All smatterers are more brisk and pert;
Than those that understand an art;
As little sparkles shine more bright
Than glowing coals that give them light.

[ocr errors]

THE PICTURE.-CUNNINGHAM.

1. A PORTRAIT, at my lord's command,

Completed by a curious hand :
For dabblers in the nice vertû
His lordship set the piece to view,
Bidding the connoisseurships tell,
Whether the work was finished well.
“Why,” says the loudest,“ on my word,
'Tis not a likeness, good my lord ;
Nor, to be plain, for speak I must,

Can I pronounce one feature just.” 2. Another effort straight was made,

Another portraiture essayed;
The judges were again besought,
Each to deliver what he thought.
“ Worse than the first”—the critics bawl ;
“O what a mouth! how monstrous small !
Look at the cheeks, how lank and thin !

See, what a most preposterous chin !" 3. After remonstrance made in vain,

I'll," says the painter, “ once again,
If my good lord vouchsafes to sit,
Try for a more successful hit !
And, if you'll to-morrow deign to call,
We'll have a piece to please you all.”
To-morrow comes—a picture's placed
Before these spurious sons of taste ;
In their opinions all agree,
This is the vilest of the three.

4. “Know—to confute your envious pride,”

His lordship from the canvas cried,
“ Know that is my

real face,
Where you could no resemblance trace:

I've tried you by a lucky trick,
And prov'd your genius to the quick ;
Void of all judgment, justice, sense,
Out-ye pretending varlets-hence."
The connoisseurs depart in haste,
Despised-detected—and disgraced.

FEMALE BEAUTY AND ORNAMENTS.-D'ISRAELI.

1. The ladies in Japan gild their teeth, and those of the Indies paint them red. The pearl of teeth must be dyed black to be beautiful in Guzurat. In Greenland the women color their faces with blue and yellow. However fresh the complexion of a Muscovite may be, she would think herself very ugly, if she were not plastered over with paint. The Chinese must have their feet as diminutive as those of the she goats; and to render them thus, their youth is passed in tortures.

2. In ancient Persia, an aqualine nose was often thought worthy of the crown; and if there was any contest between two princes, the people generally went by this criterion of majesty. In some countries, the mothers break the noses of their children ; and in others press the head between two boards, that it may become square. The modern Persians have a strong aversion to red hair; the Turks, on the contrary, are warm admirers of it. The female Hottentot receives from the hand of her lover, not silk or wreaths of flowers, but warm entrails and reeking tripe, to dress herself with enviable ornaments.

3. In China small round eyes are liked ; and the girls are continually plucking their eye-brows, that they may be thin and long. The Turkish women dip a gold brush in the tincture of a black drug, which they pass over their eyebrows. It is too visible by day, but looks shining by night. They tinge their nails with a rose-color. An African beauty must have small eyes, thick lips, a large flat nose, and a skin beauti

« AnteriorContinuar »